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AssessmentsAug 5, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A view of Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, at sunrise.
COVID-19 Risks Robbing Dubai of Its Economic and Political Autonomy
By sapping Dubai's economic growth, the COVID-19 pandemic will also ultimately erode the emirate's political and economic independence from neighboring Abu Dhabi. Without the tools and funding needed to support its own recovery, Dubai will likely be forced to rely on another bailout from wealthy Abu Dhabi, which could impact Dubai's development plans, especially in tourism and finance. 
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AssessmentsJun 26, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A picture shows the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Kramim in the West Bank on June 18, 2020.
Israel's Annexation Plans Will Leave It in Need of New Allies
Israel's impending annexations in the West Bank will not spark immediate international backlash, but growing pro-Palestine sentiment in the United States and Europe will ultimately leave it politically and economically isolated in the long term. This will lead Israel to seek increased partnerships with countries whose citizens and politicians are less invested in the prospect of a Palestinian state, such as Russia and China, though doing so will come at the risk of further stoking U.S. ire. 
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SnapshotsJun 12, 2020 | 20:38 GMT
The UAE Tries to Have It Both Ways in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The United Arab Emirates is publicly signaling that it disapproves of Israel's impending annexations in the West Bank, but its strategy suggests it still wants to support the Palestinians without losing the ability to seek economic, technology, and security deals from Israel. In a June 12 op-ed published in Israeli media, UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba staked out the country's aspirations to simultaneously support both sides of the conflict by urging Israel not to carry out annexations that would prevent a future Palestinian state and harm budding relations. This comes shortly after a second plane from the Abu Dhabi-based national carrier Etihad Airways landed in Israel on June 9 to publicly deliver relief supplies in the Palestinian Territories as part of the United Nations World Food Program. 
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AssessmentsMay 27, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Laborers wearing hard hats work at building construction site in Manama, Bahrain, on May 18, 2020.
In the Arab Gulf, Shrinking Job Opportunities Force Foreigners Back Home
By reducing demand for foreign labor, the global economic fallout from COVID-19 will, over time, fundamentally alter the demographic makeup of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which are famously home to a huge number of expatriates. Even as it helps facilitate workforce nationalization efforts across the region, the sharp loss of foreign labor and intellectual capital will eventually impede the ability of GCC governments to grow and diversify their energy-dependent economies, lengthening the timeframe for painful but necessary economic reform programs. Meanwhile, the remittance-dependent nations welcoming citizens back from the Arab Gulf, such as Egypt, will be left with even less foreign currency to manage their own mounting financial crises at home. 
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AssessmentsMay 1, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A trader wearing a protective mask stands on the floor of the Boursa Kuwait stock exchange in Kuwait City, Kuwait, on March 1, 2020.
Arab Gulf Economies Cope With a COVID-19 Conundrum
The Arab Gulf states within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are looking down the barrel of a serious, multilayered economic shock as COVID-19 disrupts their main revenue sources by slashing energy prices as well as overall global demand. The sharp reduction in government income across the region portends increased budget deficits and significant borrowing in the months ahead, creating debt that will complicate spending and investment for years to come. But while they may be delayed, Gulf states' diversification strategies and social reform plans won't be canceled, as the crisis has also made clearer than ever the need for GCC governments to wean their economies off of oil and gas, and their populations off of state aid. 
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AssessmentsApr 23, 2020 | 17:09 GMT
Security forces loyal to Hamas wear face masks while they guard the entrance to the seaport in Gaza City on March 25, 2020. The Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip has been on lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.
In Gaza, COVID-19 Creates Space for Israeli-Hamas Cooperation
In Gaza, the COVID-19 pandemic has granted Israel and Hamas, the Islamist militant group that governs the coastal enclave, a temporary impetus to cooperate, which has the potential to turn into a longer-lasting, if unstable, detente. That isn’t to say that there isn’t plenty of room for disruption and violence between the two longtime enemies, as the core ideological imperatives undermining their conflict remain at odds. But as long as the pandemic continues to cripple Israel’s economy and that of Hamas’ major sponsor, Qatar, both sides will be compelled to find new ways to work with one another.
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AssessmentsApr 9, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
The walls surrounding the Kremlin are reflected on a plaque at the entrance of the oil company Rosneft's headquarters in Moscow. 
Russia Loosens the Reins on Rosneft
The Russian government no longer has a majority stake in Rosneft for the first time in the energy giant’s 27-year history. On March 28, Rosneft announced that it had sold all of its assets in Venezuela as part of a deal with the wholly government-owned company, Rosneftegaz. The sale is designed to shield the company’s Venezuelan operations from further U.S. sanctions, while still allowing Moscow to continue its support of the disputed rule of President Nicolas Maduro. But by continuing Rosneft's slow and steady shift toward privatization, the passing of this threshold could also open the company up to a more market-driven and prosperous future. 
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Quarterly ForecastsMar 26, 2020 | 18:27 GMT
2020 Second-Quarter Forecast
Many of the trends identified in our annual forecast will slow down or be on hold as governments scramble to adapt to a post-COVID reality.
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AssessmentsMar 26, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (center) addresses the media in Pretoria after concluding a meeting with various business and political leaders on matters relating to the COVID-19 outbreak on March 22, 2020. 
A Perfect COVID-19 Storm Closes in on South Africa
With only 709 confirmed coronavirus cases as of March 25, South Africa may be lagging a few weeks behind the outbreaks now unfolding in Europe and North America. But when the pandemic does eventually hit the country, it will hit hard. With high rates of people living with HIV or tuberculosis, much of South Africa’s population is immunosuppressed and thus believed to be at risk of dying or in need of significant medical care if they contract the virus. Such a widespread outbreak could, in turn, quickly collapse the country's already fragile health care system and economy, forcing the government to abandon its new austerity budget for expensive relief efforts.
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AssessmentsMar 13, 2020 | 14:39 GMT
A man wearing a face mask walks in Pretoria square in Palermo, Italy, on March 11, 2020.
Europe's Tourism Industry Confronts an Unwelcome Visitor in COVID-19
Tourism is one of the sectors of the European economy that will be most affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the Continent. The importance of tourism for Europe cannot be overstated: It represents around 4 percent of the European Union's GDP and accounts for more than 5 percent of the total workforce. Tourism is particularly important in Southern Europe because it represents around 21 percent of GDP in Greece, 16 percent in Spain, 13 percent in Italy and almost 10 percent in France. It is also a significant source of employment. The vast majority of companies in Europe's tourism sector are small and medium-sized businesses, which are particularly vulnerable to economic crises. This means that Europe in general, and Southern Europe in particular, stands to lose a lot if the ongoing coronavirus outbreak extends into the spring when tourism activity starts to pick up. A contraction in the tourism sector
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AssessmentsMar 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows a rows of seats on a passenger aircraft.
As Coronavirus Takes Flight, the Airline Industry Takes Cover
The coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the airline industry, with the most highly impacted countries of China, South Korea, Italy and Iran accounting for over a quarter of global passenger revenue alone. As panicked consumers continue to cancel or suspend their travel plans for fear of getting sick, and as more governments pursue containment measures and travel bans, an increasing number of airlines will be forced to either consolidate or go out of business. In China, this will likely lead to a market that's even more dominated by the state-backed carriers. Bigger airlines in Europe, meanwhile, will merge as revenue losses deal the final blow to their smaller competitors. But while so much is still unknown about how the outbreak will unfold in the weeks ahead, what remains certain is that the airline industry is headed for even more unexpected turbulence.
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GuidanceFeb 28, 2020 | 21:40 GMT
This photo shows a U.S. Chinook helicopter landing at a provincial capital in Afghanistan.
The U.S. and Taliban Prepare to Take a First Step Toward Peace in Afghanistan
After a weeklong reduction in violence in Afghanistan, the United States and the Taliban are set to sign a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29. Both sides hope the deal will be the first step toward ending U.S. involvement in the Afghan war and bringing peace to a land that has been in an almost constant state of war since 1979. Two of the most important points of the agreement include the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and a promise from the Taliban that it will not allow transnational militant groups to use the country as a base. Once it's signed, the next step will be talks among the Afghan government, the Taliban and other parties to establish a durable cease-fire and eventually end the country's war. But the road ahead will be strewn with pitfalls. 
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AssessmentsFeb 28, 2020 | 18:24 GMT
Two women wearing blue, protective respiratory masks take a tour outside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, on Jan. 31, 2020, after two cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed in the city.
What a Coronavirus Crisis Means for Europe
Europe's stock markets have plunged in recent days, with its largest economies (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain) now all reporting upticks in cases of COVID-19, the coronavirus that emerged from China in recent weeks. Stocks in European industries reliant on Chinese supplies, such as in the technology sector, have suffered some of the sharpest losses, along with airline and credit card companies, due to the expected reduction of economic activity in Europe. But with the size and scope of the contagion expected to grow for at least several more weeks, these stock market dips may just be the tip of the iceberg as disruptions to Europe's supply chains, domestic consumption and tourism sector -- and potentially even border crossings -- begin to more acutely affect the bloc's already slowing economy.
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AssessmentsFeb 10, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Military units from Western Sahara's military forces wait to begin maneuvers in Mehaires, Western Sahara, on Jan. 6, 2019.
A Moroccan Military Drive Puts Algeria on Alert
For years, Algeria has ruled the roost in the Maghreb, marshaling its underground riches to build the most powerful military in the region. Increasingly, however, it's facing a challenge from its long-time rival to the west, Morocco, which is hoping to capitalize on its neighbor's unrest to grab the mantle of regional supremacy. But Morocco's concerted effort to displace Algeria as the lead military power in the region isn't without risk, as it could inflame the underlying tensions between the neighbors, further stoking regional instability.
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